divorce attorneys knoxville

Dedicated Family Law Attorneys Guiding Families Toward Resolving Conflict in Knoxville

We know you’re worried. We’re here to help.

If you’re lucky, the only lawyer you’re ever going to have to deal with is a family law attorney. And even the stuff around family law can be emotionally stressful – big life choices like marriage, divorce, or child custody. Family can bring out the best of us, but also the worst. You need an advocate, someone in your corner, who not only understands what you’re dealing with, but also someone who can take the legal matters off your hands and into theirs.

That’s where LaFevor & Slaughter come in. Our Knoxville attorneys have been helping out families with their legal needs for years. We get to know you, your goals, and work to find the best possible solution for your family issue. Especially when children are involved, you need a law firm that focuses on compassion and results, and we deliver.

Family law cases we handle

Often, family law issues get emotional fast. One person won’t cooperate. Or refuses to negotiate. Or there’s a dispute about a support order. You thought the two of you could work things out on your own – that turned out to be a bad idea. We have seen it all.  Our Knoxville attorneys have decades of experience helping Tennesseans resolve family law issues more easily and effectively, including:

  • Domestic Violence
  • Orders of Protection
  • Restraining Orders
  • Guardianships
  • Conservatorships
  • Powers of Attorney for Child Care
  • Grandparents Visitation
  • Dependency and Neglect
  • Stepparent Adoptions
  • Adoptions by a Related Person
  • Foster Parent Adoptions

Family law involves many complicated topics, and they all have the potential to affect your everyday life. A lot of our clients have a lot of questions about the many aspects of family law.  Following are some of the more common questions we hear, but if you have a more specific or personal question, get in touch! We have lots of answers, too.

How do I adopt a step-child in Tennessee?

Step-parent adoption can be a simple process, if you have the child’s other biological parent’s consent. The reason you have to have their consent is because they have to relinquish their parental rights before you can go ahead and adopt their child as your own.

Legal separation or divorce: which is better in Tennessee?

In many ways, legal separation is similar to divorce in Tennessee, but the parties remain legally married and they can’t remarry. The grounds for separation are the same as the grounds for divorce, and the court can rule on stuff like alimony, child support, custody, and property division, all in your separation agreement.

Should I sign a prenuptial agreement?

A prenup is a contract that each half of a couple signs. The document lays out how each party’s property will be distributed at the time of divorce or death. The purpose of a prenuptial agreement isn’t because you and your fiancée don’t trust each other. In fact, it’s the opposite – it’s to go into your marriage with eyes open and everything on the table. You get to decide these issues prior to the marriage so that you can protect your separate assets, agree on matters of spousal support, and protect one spouse from the other’s existing debt. For someone getting remarried, it can also guide how either spouse’s children from a previous marriage will inherit assets should their parent pass away.

Can our kid decide who they want to live with when we get divorced?

Kinda, but not really. Here in Tennessee, the courts will certainly take a child’s preference into account when deciding child custody, if the child is 12 or older. They’ll also factor in a younger child’s preference, but it won’t hold as much weight, as a younger kid may not have the critical thinking skills to know what’s in their own best interests.

Look at it like this – if Dad promises your seven-year-old that if she chooses him, she’ll get candy for breakfast every day? The judge is gonna see right through that, offer a firm “nice try,” and move on. Generally the older the child, the more likely the judge is to consider the child’s preferences. The custody attorneys at LaFevor & Slaughter can help you put together a child custody agreement that prioritizes your child’s best interest and benefits everyone.

Family Law Child Custody

How do I get an order of protection in Knoxville?

An Order of Protection gives you safety from domestic abuse, which helps protect you from physical violence, threats of physical violence, intentional destruction of your personal property, intentional harm to your pets, being held against your will, sexual assault, or stalking. In Tennessee, this order can do the following:

  • Order your abuser to stop bothering you
  • Require your abuser to move out or pay for another place for you and the kids to live
  • Give you temporary custody of your kids
  • Provide financial support for you and your children
  • Mandate your abuser undergo counseling

Knox County, Tennessee maintains a list of local domestic violence resources, recommending that if you’re in immediate danger, call 911.  You may also call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 or 1-800-787-3224 (TTY).

If your spouse or partner breaks the terms of an order of protection, police have the right to arrest them without a warrant.

Do I need a “special” attorney for a military divorce?

You should work with someone who has experience, if that’s what you mean. Members of our armed forces go through a lot of stress that most of us will never understand. And, because service members are often gone for long stretches of time, and retirement plans are different than civilian plans, you need someone who understands. Firm founder Jim LaFevor is a former U.S. Army Ranger and combat veteran. Out of gratitude for your service and for Jim’s, LaFevor & Slaughter offers discounted legal fees for active duty military and law enforcement personnel.

Can you represent both me and my spouse in a no-fault divorce?

Nope. Even if you and your partner agree on literally everything regarding your split, we won’t do it. The law changed recently and now permits one lawyer to represent both parties for an agreed divorce, but we think it’s an ethical mess. Plus, when you’re our client, we’re loyal to you and you only.

What should I bring to my meeting with a Knoxville lawyer?

Don’t worry, we’ll tell you what we need when you set up a consultation. However, you can prep on your own – if you have the need to talk to an attorney, you probably have a lot of questions already. Go ahead and write ‘em down to bring with you.

In the meantime, if you have access to some of these documents, make some copies to bring with you. The more info the better:

  • Bank statements
  • Credit card statements
  • Employment contracts
  • Financial statements
  • Real estate documents
  • Tax returns

Some of these may or may not be necessary, but after your first consult with us, we’ll let you know exactly what we’ll need for our next meeting.

More stuff about family law in Tennessee:

Contact a concerned and qualified Knoxville family law attorney

Ready to talk to a lawyer about a family law matter? The attorneys at LaFevor & Slaughter understand the challenges and we make sure you get through it without giving up an inch of your rights. To schedule a consultation with one of our Tennessee attorneys, call us at (865) 637-6258 or fill out our contact form today.